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Cut day looms

The cold reality of training camp/preseason looms for the Redskins as they prepare for Friday’s game against the New England Patriots. A week from today, the roster must be reduced from 80 players to 75. And four days after that, they go from 75 to 53.

Jim Zorn spoke about cuts to his players during this afternoon’s practice.

"I think guys realize that we’ve got 80 and we’re cutting down to 53," Zorn said. "I think guys realize that they’re trying to give their best effort to be a part of this group. It’s going to be a special group.

"And yet, I think there are guys that we’re going to have to let go that are talented, and they’ve improved themselves. But within the mix, they just have to go down the road. Now they’ll be playing in the NFL somewhere because they’re good players, as well as other players from other teams. But it is the most difficult task to find that chemistry of the 53 and then to keep those [other] guys thinking: ‘You know what? I’m pretty good. I’m not a failure. I failed to make the 53 this time, but that doesn’t end [my] career.’"

Friday’s game presents a difficult balance for the coaching staff. They need to play the first-stringers the entire first half to get ready for the regular season, but they also need to evaluate the bottom end of the roster.

Both halves on Friday, then, should be compelling for vastly different reasons.